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Dave's Park!

Dave's Park!

Bridges

I decided to have the river on the layout for one reason only ... I love bridges. The river gave me reason to build two bridges - a road bridge and a rail bridge.

I looked at various designs in steel bridges but always kept coming back to the fact that I love the old concrete bridges here in the older part of Halifax. They are a simple structure placed on concrete supports that sit right on bedrock at either end of the bridge. They have a character and charm that can noit be found in steel, although to be fair, there are some beautiful designs in steel bridges also.

The road bridge is prototypical. The deck of the rail bridge is a hybrid design incorporating some of the features of a prototypical concrete bridge but altered somewhat to make what I thought would be a little more interesting.

My chosen material was balsa. The design was drawn first on paper and then drawn on the balsa, cut out, gued, test fited, and painted. The river bank was painted to represent rock formation and then cut out to accept the bridges.

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Once the bridges were in place I installed the large square corner posts that are typical of this type of bridge and fixed up the ground around the posts. The track was laid and the level crossing set was made and installed. The area was then ballasted and the street and sidewalk was laid.

The only advice I would add regarding using balsa is to make sure it is well sealed on ALL surfaces with a waterproof sealer because when I hit the ballast with the wet water and glue the underside of the level crossing pieces absorbed the water, twisting beyond repair, and a few new pieces had to be made. It was quite a mess!

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